Archive for Battle of the Brews


How Mulch Can Be Applied To Your Garden v1

One very useful and effective approach that gardeners can adopt to promote a healthy garden is mulching. This measure can be utilized in several areas including vegetable gardens and flower beds. The use of mulch can help to eliminate the presence of annoying weeds and helps soil to retain its moisture. Spend less time plucking up weeds, watering gardens and fighting pests when you use this technique.

Mulch For The Perfect Garden

Mulch

When mulching gardens there are two basic types of mulch that can be used and these are organic or inorganic. Organic mulches usually consist of several different,\ materials including chopped leaves, straw, grass clippings, wood chips,sawdust and shredded bark and inorganic mulches are mainly comprised of gravel, stones, black plastic, and geotextiles. Both types of mulch can be used to discourage weed growth and improve soil quality but organic mulches gradually improve soil as they decomposes while inorganic mulches don’t.

If people are applying mulch to combat weeds there are two important tips they should consider if it is to be done properly and effectively. The first would be to lay down mulch on soil that is already weeded and the second would be to lay it down thick enough to discourage new weeds from reappearing. The ideal thickness of mulch should range from around 4- 6 inches when laid even though a 2- 3 inch layer normally suffices in shady areas where weed growth is not as prevalent as it is in full sun.

Mulching is also an easy way to keep soil cool and moist in dry conditions and reduces the need to constantly water gardens. It provides protection to plants in harsh cold conditions preventing the freezing and thawing of the soil as the gradual decomposition of materials help to generate minimal heat.

Organic mulch has low nitrogen content and should fertilize soil first with a high-nitrogen product such as blood meal or fish meal to boost nitrogen levels in the soil before applying mulch. Another important thing that gardeners should take care to remember is to keep mulch about an inch away from crowns and stems. This is because wet mulch that rests against the stems of flowers and vegetables can cause them to rot. So be sure that mulch is at the appropriate distance to prevent this from occurring.

To protect and maintain the ideal conditions gardeners should definitely consider mulching as an option it is easy to apply, saves time and encourages a healthy, nurtured, environment throughout any garden.  Contact us for more information.

 

Hardscape Ideas for Lawn Landscapes

In creating gorgeous landscape designs people tend to go above and beyond in seeking to create and achieve the look they want. There are a variety of techniques that can be used to not only enhance but to give an elegant finish to any landscape or outdoor space.

Landscape

Bring Elegance To Your Landscape With These Hardscape Ideas

One very effective technique used to achieve the perfect finish to any landscape is Hardscaping. When speaking about hardscaping it refers to the structural inanimate features used and incorporated into a landscape to add a stylish and sophisticated appearance. These features can include anything from decks and walkways to edging and ornamental features and can be formal or informal depending on the style of your home and surroundings.

Nevertheless it is very important that varying textures be carefully considered as the texture of material/s used when hardscaping usually determines the final appearance of the landscape. Using too much or too little materials can result in a dull or cluttered finished look therefore to prevent any issues after the designed space is completed it would be best to choose no more than two or three textures of hardscape materials for projects.

Selected materials should be able to perfectly blend and complement the exterior structure of the home as well as be visually attractive. Other elements like color and drainage patterns once carefully and selectively used can and should improve the overall appearance of the home and surroundings.

Installing walkways and paths are also common elements incorporated within the hardscaping process and are used to accentuate and designate the areas in which traffic constantly travels. This is usually achieved by utilizing materials such as bricks, pavements, woodchips, flagstones, retaining walls, rocks or concrete blocks.

Different areas of the landscape may require various hardscape elements based on their purpose. For example using shredded tires painted in various colors for areas that children play or frequent. This provides a safe and attractive environment for kids who utilize outdoor surroundings for activities.

For areas used to entertain like dining or sitting areas the addition of a patio or deck accessorized with elegant furniture and decor are ideal ways to enhance and decorate big or empty areas. Water features like small ponds or fountains and ornamental accessories like a bird bath, statues or benches could also be great ideas that help to create a tranquil yet beautiful and characterized, outdoor space.

Once you have planned and designed the outdoor space that you wish to have the only thing left to do is to fill in your garden and lawn areas with the desired plants, trees or grass and proceed from there. Furthermore the addition of outdoor and garden lights will not only enhance and give ambiance to the outdoor area but provide a sense of safety and security when using outdoor spaces at night.

The concept of hardscaping really isn’t difficult to execute so long as planning is carefully and accurately done. It really gives an extra edge to outdoor spaces and surroundings while being an excellent expression of your unique taste and style.  Contact us for more information.

 

Winter Plants – Part 2

During the winter season creatures prefer to hibernate and wait until nature affords them the opportunity to venture out into warmer conditions. There are no different to us humans as we seek to make our homes warm and comfortable during the dreaded winter weather.  Your garden is certainly apart of your home and you should do all in your power to ensure it can handle winter’s fury and look its best. Vibrantly colored winter plants or even winter vegetables can enhance the life of a damp gloomy landscape.

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Know Your Winter Plants

An uncommon but very fascinating winter plant is Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick or Corkscrew Hazel.  Even though, this shrub flowers in the spring season, it is a beautiful winter plant.  This is due to its coiled and zigzagged branches. This plant tends to grow better in a fusion of bright sunlight and shade.  The branches will need frequent trimming to preserve its attractive appearance however when they fall they can resemble an overgrown untidy mesh of wood.

The Paper Birch tree displays its gorgeous yellow leaves in autumn.  However, when it gets extremely cold, its white bark provides a sensational difference to a backdrop of evergreens.  Frequently they are used during the Christmas holidays in many gardens.  The paper birch tree should be planted in deep holes with mulch to keep it damp.  Partial sunlight will be essential for this plant.

The Heather plant is another suitable winter plant. It flourishes all year round and provides attractive flowers in summer and fall.  It’s rich foliage provides a fascinating difference when compared to other winter plants.  You should plant these in winter with mulch in an area that obtains excellent sunlight.

Holly has always been linked to winter and there are 400 assortments to select from ranging from small to gigantic trees up to 80 feet.  There are various types of the holly plant to fit every garden and winter scenery.  Its vibrant berries and dense foliage make it very eye-catching.

Hellebore is another winter plant that can be obtained in a fusion of selections. When flourishing it has a cup like shape and they come in an array of colors making it easy to find a color that best suits your winter garden. This plant flourishes better in total shade.  Contact us for more information on how you can make create the perfect winter landscape.

Winter Plants – Part 1

Nature provides numerous varieties of  winter plants that flourish in cold temperatures. There are winter plants that will flourish even in snowfall and there are others that can mirror their vibrant colors from the icicles hanging from your home.

winter plants

Winter Plants For A Breath Taking Scenery

One of the well-liked winter plants is the Camellia.  This evergreen flourish from fall to early spring.  With its brightly colored rose like flowers this plant provides a breathtaking difference to a sombre winter scenery.  Camellia should be sowed in an area that have some sun but not too much

The winter-berry which is related to the holly and loses its leaves in fall is a great plant to have this time of year.  You and your loved ones can enjoy the  vibrant red berries that come into their own.  The berries attract the birds during this time which is a sight to see and the birds will be happy for your blessings as well.  You must plant the seeds during the fall in a small frame, then you can transplant them to fertile damp soil in the spring.  However it is a slow growing winter plant, with its germination taking about 2 to 3 years.

Paper Maple has ringlets of copper colored bark flaking off all over and this constructs a pleasurable image both on the plant and while the leaves lay on the ground in all their splendor.  During fall the green leaves change into a fascinating cinnamon shade and the plant grows in sunlight perfectly.

Red Twig Dogwood is an old-time golden boy as the color of the plant is sustained all year round.   The boldness of the plant’s color relies on the sunlight it obtains. This is another incredible addition to consider in your garden during winter.

Firethorn is lasting and it has an appealing view all year.  It has little bunches of glistening white flowers in spring and vibrant shiny green leaves the rest of the year.  The little pea like berries can be either orange or yellow in color and these can survive until long after fall is over.  The seeds should be sowed in the fall in a cold frame then transplanted to properly drained fertile earth in the spring.

If you want the best in lawn maintenance and advice contact us as DK landscaping.  Our team of experts will help you give your garden the nutrients and the proper care it needs to survive and remain lush.

 

Winter Services for Property and Landscape Maintenance

The cold temperatures and dry air can prove to be quite the burden on your lawn and landscaping. Property owners can preserve the integrity of their lawn and landscaping by reaching out to our lawn and landscape maintenance professionals for expert treatment. Ally with DK Landscaping and we will make sure your property maintains its beauty throughout the winter, spring, summer and fall.

landscape maintenance

Winter Lawns and Landscaping Maintenance

Your front and back lawns are not a lost cause during the winter months. Though the frigid temperatures will take a toll on all forms of life, it is certainly possible to maintain a lovely lawn, shrubs, flowers, trees and other greenery during the coldest portion of the year.

DK Landscaping knows exactly how to treat lawns during the winter. We make use of a unique winter fertilizer that keeps lawns looking fantastic even when the temperatures dip down toward the freezing mark. Our special fertilizer enhances grass so it does not require an abundance of water. It also stimulate robust root development that ultimately preserves the integrity of your grass across the years to come. This fertilizer even bolsters your lawn’s ability to combat disease and withstand heavy foot traffic.

Ally with DK Landscaping for winter lawn and landscaping maintenance and you will notice a considerable difference in your property’s beauty. We know exactly which trees, shrubs and flowers should be pruned during the winter months. Furthermore, our team understands the extent to which each type of shrub and flower should be pruned.

As an example, we prune certain roses back by upwards of 80 percent during the winter months. Certain types of grass such as ornamental grasses require 90 percent pruning during the coldest months of the year. This is the type of attention to detail that separates your lawn’s health and beauty from the pack. Put your faith in DK Landscaping to sweat the small stuff and you will enjoy the benefits in the form of glorious lawn and landscaping that holds its beauty far into the future.

Water Preservation

The winter months can be brutally dry. You might be tempted to water your grass, trees, flowers and shrubs quite frequently during this time of the year. Yet you don’t want to run up an expensive water bill or spend your limited free time outdoors in the bone chilling cold with a hose in your hands! Your best course of action is to turn to the irrigation experts at DK Landscaping.

We know all the best methods to disperse water in a highly efficient manner. We also perform water saving landscape design known as “xeriscape“. Homeowners and commercial property owners can both benefit from the efficient distribution of water across lawn and landscaping. Our goal is to conserve water, save you plenty of money and keep your lawn in tip-top shape.

In addition to water saving landscape design techniques, we also make use of native plants acclimated to the dry air, runoff prevention methods, drip irrigation, MP rotators and smart evapotranspiration timers. The end result is a stunning lawn and landscaping that requires substantially less water than previously needed.

Ask any of our current or former customers about our water conservation design methods and equipment and they will testify to the legitimacy of these strategies.

Let our landscape maintenance experts take a look at your property and we’ll start brainstorming ways to boost its aesthetic. Whether you are looking for a beautifully green lawn or elegant landscaping, DK Landscaping can make it happen. Reach out to us to schedule an initial consultation.

Lawn Care In the Fall

Lawn care is necessary if you are to keep your garden looking its best. At the end of a busy and fun filled summer, your lawn may begin to demonstrate symptoms of wear and tear.  Early autumn is an excellent time to maintain the damage and make sure that your lawn would be in good fettle for the upcoming year.

Lawn Care Guidelines

lawn care

Before raking debris, you should kill any moss with a lawn moss herbicide. For larger lawns, you can use a motorized scarifier.  Ensure that you use a spring-tined rake.  Scraping your lawn enhances its look and adds vigor to the lawn. Establish air channels in dense turf by placing a border fork in the soil.  This action will draw plugs out of the soil.

After scraping and aerating your turf, fill the holes with a top dressing.  You can purchase your top dressing from garden or hardware stores.  It is such an affordable and simple technique that you can also make your own top dressing.

After all the fun times and frequent use during the summer, your lawn may exhibit signs of degeneration.  Therefore, early autumn is a superb time to maintain any devastation.  Make sure that your lawn is in excellent health for next year.

With the use of gloves, put some granular autumn fertilizer evenly over noticeable squares.  If no rain falls within three days of applying the fertilizer, then wet it.  In the initial stage of autumn, your soil would be warm enough and damp to plant grass seed.  Additionally, scatter seed to correspond with your type of turf. Apply this at half of the suggested rate for contemporary turfs.  This helps to enhance any depilated spots.

If you want to improve on the way you take care of your lawn then contact DK Landscaping. We are the experts in plant and lawn care. We can help you create the right conditions for a healthy and much improved lawn and garden.

Winter Landscaping – Its Actually Great For Your Lawn

During the latter time of the year, when the winter months begin to creep in, the outdoors transition into a dull and inhospitable place. All the activity then shifts to the indoors, however, for garden and lawn lovers alike, this is the ideal time to prep your lawns and gardens for the upcoming growing season. These are five easy tips you can consider, to keep your gardens and lawns in good shape during winter. Improve your winter landscaping techniques today!

Winter Landscaping Tips

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Pruning and trimming is a popular garden practice. This helps to shape, improve and maintain the general health of plants and trees. During the dormant, winter months carrying out these practices, tend to be fairly, popular and is encouraged,as during this time of dormancy, the vast majority of hedges, shrubs and trees, including evergreens and deciduous trees, can be pruned or trimmed, without causing damage to the plant or tree.

Heavy snowfall and high winds, usually come with the seasonal winter storms.Therefore it is recommended, that prior to this time, all high or decayed branches, be pruned or entirely removed. If or when stormy conditions occur, these decayed  branches or dead trees can quickly transform into falling hazards, that pose serious threats of injury. With that said, not everyone may be confident enough to carry out pruning or trimming effectively. So we recommend, consulting a local, insured, tree removal service, who will handle all your trimming and pruning needs in a safe, professional and effective manner.

During the fall, leading into winter leaves are constantly falling, covering your garden or lawn from end to end with immense amounts of leaves. Cleaning and maintaining your lawns or gardens at this time, certainly proves to be a daunting task but is also very important. This practice allows your garden beds and lawns, to receive the adequate amounts of sunlight required, for the optimal growth of plants as well as lush healthy lawns.

Another resourceful and efficient tip one can utilize in effort to prep your garden for the upcoming growing season, is getting a head start planting your garden beds. One can begin by  pruning all shrubs, trees and perennials.Secondly, clear and remove all leaves and other debris from beds.  Afterward, define the edges of beds by hard edging and creating a perimeter pass along the edge, with a lawn mower. Once these steps are completed you can then begin to install your bulbs for spring.

Protecting plants from any damage or destruction, has always been a major concern for most gardeners,with the harsh,winter weather being no exception. A clever tip that has proven effective, to equip gardeners for this extreme period, is the use of mulch. Mulch is used to retain soil moisture, regulate soil temperature, suppress weed growth, serves as an aesthetic and most importantly, acts as a shield against the unfavourable, winter, conditions. Planting beds should be mulched at a depth of 1.5 – 2 inches, to ensure plant roots remain the right temperature as well as to offer the right amount of protection from any potential damage.

Ensuring that you maintain a safe and nurturing environment throughout your garden, should be a priority of every gardener, especially throughout the winter season. This would include tying up loose branches of evergreens and boxwoods,turning off and covering all water spigots, storing away any remaining, organic, chemicals and making sure that irrigation systems are properly winterized. With that said, please remember not to use a broom or shovel while removing snow from branches as they will be frozen, fragile and could easily sustain damage. If in doubt this winter season contact DK Landscaping for more information.

How to Grow Boxwood Shrubs

Boxwood is an evergreen plant that grows in small, dense hedges. It doesn’t flower noticeably, but its rich green color makes it good for foliage cover. They work well for borders or near entryways. However, it’s a slow-growing plant, so don’t expect it to be impressive overnight.

A Few Boxwood Facts

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As with all plants, be sure you’re placing your boxwood shrubs well. Boxwood typically does best in partial or full sun, so don’t plant it on the shady side of a house. Boxwood shrubs prefer well-drained soil, although it’s not very picky about pH. In very hot climates, try to plant your shrubs so they’ll receive some shade during the heat of the day, and do your best to water them semi-regularly so they don’t wilt. Try to remember your climate will impact the health of your boxwood.

Boxwood is generally hardy, but it has a few pests to watch out for. The most notable is the boxwood leaf miner, which causes the leaves to turn yellow. You can spray the leaves with insecticide to kill the plant, or try for an organic option such as neem oil.

You may also notice phytophthora root rot, a fungal infection. The fungus kills the roots, so the plant has a harder time taking in moisture and nutrients, and eventually begins to die back. To prevent this, make sure you’re not overwatering your boxwood shrubs, and ensure the soil is draining well.

Winter bronzing is a phenomenon where a boxwood’s leaves turn orange in the cold. This isn’t fatal to the plant, but many gardeners find it unpleasant to have. Winter bronzing is often caused by wind exposure.

To avoid winter bronzing, try to plant your boxwood shrubs such that they’re sheltered from freezing winter winds. If your ground isn’t frozen, give your shrubs a deep watering, especially if you live in a region with dry winters. You may also consider using a slow-release fertilizer in spring and fall. If your boxwoods are still bronzing, try spraying the leaves with an anti-desiccant, to keep their moisture in.

Though it takes dedication to reach its full potential, boxwood is a beautiful foliage plant that’s a staple of many gardens. If you plan to install boxwood shrubs around your home, get in touch with us and we’ll walk you through the process. Contact us at DK Landscaping for more gardening tips and advice.

Time To Mulch

There are various kinds of organic mulches used in garden maintenance.  They act as fertilizers giving your soil the nutrients and conditions needed for sustainable growth. The State of California has policies in place that govern the production of mulch.  Take a look at the various kinds of mulches that are highly recommended:

Types Of Mulches

Newspaper is becoming more widespread as mulch.  Shredded newspaper has been used to maintain a damp environment for plants during shipping. This technique has been used on land as well. The way this all works is because layers of newspaper have excellent water retaining capabilities.  They also help to control weeds and manage soil temperatures. This is an excellent benefit.

Shredded Leaves can be utilized as mulch any and everywhere in your garden.  This is one of the most natural forms of mulch. Many gardens have flourished by using this technique.

Grass Clippings is used in the isolated areas of your garden where you want to restrain weeds.  Grass clippings also are prone to mass down the water causing it not to pass through.

As part of your gardening maintenance plan you should utilize a mulching mower and leave back the clippings on the lawn to supply added fertility to your soil.  Nonetheless, if you place your grass clippings in bags do not discard of them, unless you have utilized weed killer or some other pesticide on your lawn. You should also know that synthetic lawn care items can be harmful to some flowers, so you may not want to use them in your garden.  Grass clippings that are not treated should be placed in your compost bin or utilize as mulch for open areas are not yet planted.

Some gardeners hate to see leaves in their garden, and that’s a fact.  Leaves really aren’t suitable for a formal garden.  But if you cover your garden with the leaf mulch it tend to fusion into the garden in no time. This way you can still have the beauty of your garden untarnished while giving it the advantages of having mulch added.

During rainy times, unshredded leaves may mass together and fight off the water. If the leaves are too wet to shred, they can still be used. If you are considering implementing this gardening improvement technique then seek an expert gardening service. Contact us the gardening experts for more sound advice and gardening maintenance.

Plant Trees and Shrubs That Add Interest to a Garden in Winter

Tons of homeowners run down to their local nursery to pick up shrubs and small trees for their garden design. You can actually find some great deals by purchasing cold-hardy plants, shrubs and trees out of season, so to speak, prior to the thermometer dropping in September and October.

The problem is that these same homeowners don’t exactly know what to do with their cold-hardy plants and shrubs or whether they can set to work planting them in late fall and early winter or if they have to wait until the weather warms up in spring to put on their gardener’s hat.

Beautiful view with coorful trees and shrubs. English garden in spring. Landscape gardening.

How to Deal with Cold-Hardy Trees, Plants and Shrubs

What you may not know is that a variety of shrubs, plants, perennials, and trees can survive and even thrive in – what the USDA terms – the coldest planting zones in the country.

So, the question no doubt on the minds of everyone in these more frigid hardiness zones is whether to keep your trees and shrubs in pots throughout the cooler months or whether you can get started in late fall.

The answer’s that you can choose to do either, but you can definitely set to work right now, start planting in the late fall, and beautify your garden and outdoor decor throughout the winter and into the verdant spring months. Evergreen shrubs and hawthorn are two popular options.

What you still want to do, though, is manage your expectations and perhaps set your sights lower than a veritable Garden of Eden springing up in the crisp winter months. Here’s how to get started:

  • Follow Nature’s Lead

You would be very hard-pressed to find potted plants, much less artificial ones, growing wild out in nature.

Taken that to its logical extension, your plants and shrubs will typically be healthier and happier by being put into the ground than staying in a plastic pot in your garage throughout the winter season.

  • What Should I Plant?

Evergreen garden shrubs are but one example of resilient shrubs that can really add another dimension to your garden and front lawn during the winter without causing too much heartache in terms of worry or added energy you have to expend to make it happen.

Both conifer trees and evergreen shrubs can make it through winter in one piece, and the needle-leaf style of evergreen shrubs are normally considered more robust in cold-hardy climates.

Yew and Juniper are two kinds of evergreen garden shrubs that are resilient, tolerant to cold temperatures and drought conditions, yet really benefit from developing their root networks early in the fall (if you’re thinking about planting these early) as opposed to waiting until early-to-mid spring.

Deciduous trees like the Japanese Maple, eucalyptus, birch or hawthorn tree can even demonstrate fruit growth in the winter, which really adds a splash of color and interesting contrast against the icicles and powdery, white winter snow.

  • Going About It the Right Way

Year-round plants, shrubs and trees don’t actually need the extra shot in the arm that less hardy flora might.

There’s no need to use a crazy amount of fertilizer or growth agents in the late fall to get the most out of these trees and shrubs throughout the winter.

Still, realize that many of these flora grow upwards and their root networks are delicate at this early stage. Try not to move around or prune these shrubs early in their development.

Much and a little water in the fall are probably all these plants need to avoid desiccation and thrive for you year-round. Contact us today for more tips or help in getting started.